VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler City Schools have installed signage that declares all district property and buildings to be tobacco free.
The signs were provided by Public Health Montgomery County after the Board of Education voted in April to change district policy to prohibit the use of tobacco products at any time in or on Vandalia-Butler City Schools’ property.
According to the policy, it prohibits the use of tobacco products at any time “in any building or vehicle owned, leased, rented or chartered by the district, on school grounds, athletic grounds or parking lots and at any school-sponsored or school-related event, whether such event occurs on-campus or off-campus.”
“We appreciate our partnership with Public Health because the signs they provided are a positive message,” said Superintendent Bradley Neavin. “The research is clear. The use of tobacco products is dangerous to your health, so we don’t want people engaging in unhealthy behaviors or behaviors that are not positive role models in front of our students on our campus.”
Board members cited health reasons for the change in policy.
“The Board of Education is committed to providing students, staff and visitors with a tobacco and smoke-free environment. The negative health effects of tobacco use for both users and nonusers, particularly in connection with second hand smoke, are well established. Further, providing a non-smoking and tobacco-free environment is consistent with the responsibilities of teachers, staff and adult visitors to be positive role models for our students.”
“It’s a different environment than it was 10 years ago,” said Neavin. “You can’t smoke in a bar, so why should you be able to smoke on a school campus. Major universities are going this direction by making their whole campus non-smoking, including Ohio State, and I don’t think we will have an issue with this.
According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths each year. About 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing second hand smoke, according to the American Cancer Society.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.